The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) points table will be decided by the percentage of points won. This comes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced quite a few Test series to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
It was a recommendation proposed by the Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee to change the structure of the WTC which was points based to the percentage of points. And the ICC board approved that and the percentage of points will now decide the WTC finalists (top two on the points table). Earlier, the maximum number of points was going to decide the WTC finalists.
As per the WTC current regulations, any match that is not completed is considered as a draw and the points will be split between the two teams. The cricket committee considered continuing with the existing system but opted against it.
“Both the Cricket Committee and Chief Executives Committee supported the approach of ranking teams based on completed matches and points earned as this reflects their performance and doesn’t disadvantage teams that have been unable to complete all of their matches through no fault of their own. We explored a whole range of options, but our Members felt strongly that we should proceed as planned with the first-ever World Test Championship Final in June next year,” the ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney was quoted saying in an ICC release.
The percentage of points will be calculated based on the number of matches played and the number of points obtained. % of points = (Points won by a team / Total Points contested) * 100.
That now means that Australia have overtaken India and have moved to the top of the World Test Championship (WTC) points table. Australia have points percentage of 82.22 as they have won 296 points from a total of 360 points contested so far. Meanwhile, India have contested for 480 points and have obtained 360 points and have a points percentage of 75%.
England and New Zealand are the other teams who have more than 50% on the points percentage system. The former have won 292 points out of the 480 points they’ve contested in and have 60.83% as their points percentage. Meanwhile, the Kiwis have exactly 50% as they have won 180 out of 360 points.
Only less than 50% of the WTC matches have been completed so far. However, the ICC expects about 85% of the matches to be completed by the end of the two-year cycle which finishes in March 2021.
Barring England and Bangladesh, all other teams have at least two Test series’ left. Moreover, except for India, all other teams have had at least one Test series cancelled or postponed.